Collared Lizards in Mojave Desert National Preserve

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jonathan
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Collared Lizards in Mojave Desert National Preserve

Post by jonathan » August 4th, 2016, 10:54 am

More than a decade ago when I was just a wee lad, I traveled through Mojave Desert National Preserve by myself in April. I remember exactly where I saw my lifer Desert Horned Lizard and my lifer Desert Tortoise.

However, one memory messes with me. I remember stopping for some reason on the side of the road where water erosion or something like that had created high banks on both sides of a runoff area semi-parallel to the road. I walked it, and saw quite a number of both Great Basin Collared Lizards and Desert Spiny Lizards.

I’ve been back to MDNP twice since then, and made an effort to find my “collared lizard spot” both times, yet completely failed (one of those times I found an area somewhat like the spot, but no collared lizards – perhaps simply because it was late July and not the ideal time of year). In fact, I haven't seen any collared lizards in MDNP again since then, and have only seen collareds in 5 locales total since then, no more than 2 in any one place.

The random question "how can I find collards in MDNP" has been perplexing me ever since then. If anyone has any insights as to where I was that one time, or how I could find collards in general there, I'd love to hear it. PM if necessary.

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Fieldnotes
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Re: Collared Lizards in Mojave Desert National Preserve

Post by Fieldnotes » August 4th, 2016, 11:31 am

The April and July thing is probably whats going on. July is the time to avoid California's Mojave and Sonoran Deserts, especially if no T-storms have hydrated the environment. Even then, T-storms produced very little activity, when compared to Arizona's flourishing systems. As for the Great Basin Desert, Collared lizards seem to be on every rocky slope even in July.

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Steve Bledsoe
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Re: Collared Lizards in Mojave Desert National Preserve

Post by Steve Bledsoe » August 8th, 2016, 9:13 am

Jonathan,
If you want to see some this year, I'd give it a shot in October when the highs are in the mid to low 90's. I've seen plenty GB Collared Lizards that time of year in the Colorado Desert. My guess is that they like the fall weather in the Mojave as well.

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